Usually, I try to write blog posts that are positive in some way.
I suppose this post is a little different and maybe a little selfish because I’m having a really tough day and I just need to get it off my chest.
I’ve said before that I do feel some sort of pressure when writing about mental illness that it must always have a positive message, and that people still tend to see recovery as an end result – but that just isn’t true.
Just because I’m better than before doesn’t mean I’m not suffering anymore.
Today’s been one of the darkest days that anxiety causes me to deal with: the kind of day that, despite the fight to end the stigma surrounding mental health, is not widely written about in the media or commonly associated with anxiety; the kind of unbearable day that makes me feel completely hopeless and like I’m right back at square one.
I HATE ANXIETY.
I feel frustrated, upset, overwhelmed and angry.
These kind of days can come about for no obvious reason. More often though, it’s when I feel like I’m losing control and several stressful/triggering situations start to pile up.
I’m lucky to work from home now and to have the luxury of taking time for my mental health when I need it – thank God, because I’ve done nothing productive today.
Instead, I’ve just spent hours moping about and feeling sad in my bedroom.
Although my friends and family know about my struggles with anxiety, this is the side that nobody else sees. Occasionally – if I really can’t help it – then maybe my best friend or boyfriend have seen me at my lowest. But it’s usually behind closed doors.
While I absolutely do not suffer with depression and it’s a very different illness, anxiety can sometimes cause me to experience similar symptoms.
So… the pile up. This is just going to be me generally moaning about life so you may want to exit now.
First thing – I’ve got several ongoing (physical) health issues at the minute and that’s one of the biggest causes of my current stress, I think. I’ve got constant appointments all the time and I can’t keep track of where I’m supposed to be and when. I can’t spend too long worrying about one thing before I’m seemingly dealt another blow and have to move on to the next.
It’s really difficult. I’ve been trying my hardest to keep positive for a long time but I’m starting to feel like I really need a break and I don’t know when it’s going to stop.
Second thing – The big thing that’s really upset me today is that I’ve realised I probably won’t be able to go on the holiday of a lifetime this summer.
Last year, I was rushed into hospital with multiple blood clots on the lungs which made us all realise how fragile life can be. Shortly afterwards, my parents booked an amazing family holiday to America for this summer.
I’ve felt guilty recently because they’ve all been so excited about it and, like with most things in life, my excitement has been clouded by overwhelming feelings of worry and anxiety.
I’ve realised that the holiday is just going to be too much for me to handle and I feel so upset and angry – it’s somewhere I’ve always wanted to go and I’m so lucky to have the opportunity.
But I just feel like I can’t.
I don’t want to put myself in a situation that is so overwhelming it does more damage than good and I also don’t want to impact anyone else’s holiday.
I just keep getting the most horribly intrusive thoughts. Why can’t I just go? Why do I have to feel like this? Why does anxiety ruin everything? And, why can’t I be normal?
I’m disappointed for myself and I feel so guilty to let people down.
Third thing – I was catching up with an old teaching friend the other day and it sent me on a trip down memory lane.
Until last year, I worked as a Primary School teacher and I absolutely loved it. I really thought it was going to be my career for life.
Due to my back injury, I had to leave and then when it came to returning to work after over a year out, I just didn’t feel like I could face teaching again.
My friend told me she thought I was a great teacher and doesn’t know why I ever left.
It made me feel really sad and frustrated yet again because as much as I love writing, if it wasn’t for anxiety I most definitely would still be teaching too.
Again the same thoughts plague my mind: Why does anxiety have to ruin everything?
Fourth thing – Relationships are hard. Family, friends, boyfriends etc. But relationships with anxiety are even harder.
I’m constantly worrying about things and I can sometimes make myself ill with it.
Last night, I had about 3 hours sleep because I was just up all night fretting and making mountains out of molehills.
As a result, I’ve felt sick and poorly all day and I just feel so drained and exhausted in every way.
DID I MENTION I HATE ANXIETY?
I guess I just really needed to moan and let it all out.
I’m very cautious not to offload to those around me all the time because everyone has their own problems to deal with and anxiety already makes me feel like a burden. It’s just great, isn’t it?
Writing things down does really help though.
The truth is – anxiety isn’t pretty. It’s not all about yoga and meditation.
Days like today are real and I’m not going to apologise for talking about them. People need to know that recovery is a journey and it can be extremely bumpy.
I know this is just a blip and doesn’t take away from how far I’ve come. I just need to try and break things down and deal with one issue at a time. Tomorrow is a new day and I’ll pick myself up and carry on, but it sucks and I really hate anxiety with every inch of my soul.